Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.
- Fibre other than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.
- Include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal.
- Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.
- Also on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods such as oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta (because they increase the calorie).
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.
- Chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit.
- A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept to mealtimes) is 30g.
- A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount by just taking one glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
Fish… You can choose from fresh, frozen, and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
- Healthy eating starts when you eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish.
- Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.
- Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish.
- Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease.
Oily fish include:
Non-oily fish include:
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
- You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amounts and type of fat you’re eating.
There are two most important types of fat
Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
- On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.
- On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
- Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults.
- A low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:
- Fatty cuts of meat
- Hard cheese
Cut down on your saturated fat intake. Healthy eating start when you choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.
- For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.
- When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.
- All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.
- Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
- Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories).
- Consuming sugary foods and drinks too often can contribute to weight gain.
- Too much of sugary foods and drinks can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
- Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.
Free sugars are found in many foods, such as:
- Sugary fizzy drinks
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Pastries and puddings
- Sweets and chocolate
- Alcoholic drinks
Healthy eating start when you use food labels to check how much sugar foods contain.
- More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar.
- 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.
Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults
- Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure.
- People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.
- Use food labels to help you cut down the salt intake.
- More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.
- Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day.
- Younger children should have even less.
With healthy eating you can get active and be a healthy weight
- Healthy eating may reduce the risk of obesity.
- Doing regular exercises may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and well-being.
Do not get thirsty
- You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you from getting dehydrated.
- It’s recommended to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
- All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower-fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices.
- Avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in calories.
- Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day.
Do not skip breakfast
- Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight.
Healthy Eating (breakfast)
- A healthy breakfast can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
- A healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet.
- A wholegrain lower-sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is tasty and healthier breakfast.
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